INTERNATIONAL TRADE DISPUTES
CD: Could you outline some of the most common causes of international trade disputes over the past 12 months or so? What factors appear to be driving conflict in this space?
Bolin: The past year has seen the heavy use of trade remedies by private litigants. Most countries have anti-dumping and countervailing duty laws in place that enable companies with production in that country to bring cases against imports that are being subsidised or sold at unfairly low prices. These laws are being increasingly used by companies facing pressure from imports. For example, there have been a host of recent anti-dumping and countervailing duty cases in the US and other countries against imports of steel, aluminum, chemicals, plastics and solar panels, among others. Global overcapacity for the production of numerous products is a significant factor leading to these cases. In many countries around the world, the production capacity of all of these industries has increased at an astounding rate that far surpasses natural market-driven growth. The outcome of the 2016 US presidential election could mean even more trade remedy cases in the months ahead.
Monard: In the field of trade defence – anti-dumping, anti-subsidy and safeguard measures – the key source of concern has been, and remains, the global steel crisis. With rampant overcapacity in the sector, several jurisdictions around the world have initiated investigations and imposed measures on a multitude of steel products. While China is usually the key target, most other steel producing nations are also targeted. It is not uncommon for certain steel producers to be petitioners in one investigation and defendants in another.
Jan-Mar 2017 issue
Norton Rose Fulbright LLP
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP